Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Nico Rosberg was among those named in the Panama Papers leak yesterday. The German, who recently won the Bahrain Grand Prix, was among several names involved.
One of the biggest data leaks of its time, the Panama Papers are a set of confidential documents revealing information about offshore companies based out of Panama. Legal firm Mossack Fonseca listed these firms, many of which are shell companies used by their stakeholders as a means of avoiding taxes and duties.
Rosberg is among several sports personalities included in the list, including new FIFA president Gianni Infantino, although the majority of those who stand accused comprise high-ranking government officials and their relatives.
The deal between Rosberg, son of Finnish world champin Keke, and his team Mercedes AMG Petronas, was actually via an offshore company named in the news as Ambitious Group Limited, which is based out of the British Virgin Islands.
Ambitious Group Limited itself is a front for other companies based out of the Channel Islands.
He has been with the team since the 2010 season, partnering Michael Schumacher until the 7-time champion took his second retirement.
German national newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung received access to the anonymous data in mid-2015, and prior to its release to the public reviewed the data with the ICIJ, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, before its worldwide release.
Rosberg and his father have not commented, with a lawyer for the family telling French sports daily L'Equipe “it (is) a private matter.”
He is not the only Formula One name involved in the leaks, with former driver Jarno Trulli and ex-Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo also involved. While Trulli has acknowledged his name and said he has “nothing to hide, owning several companies worldwide,” Di Montezemolo has claimed he is “unaware of this law firm.”